Startup Marketing 101: Expert articles for real growth
A 10-step guide to the best startup resources in the marketing industry
Welcome to the legion of startups – where you quickly realize you have your work cut out for you. As exciting as it is to build your own business, it’s going to take one helluva marketing strategy (or a few) to get your name out the door.
That’s where we come in. The expert curators at Harvest Builders have pored over some of the best thought leadership and startup success stories over recent years to bring you a 10-step guide of the best marketing resources for your startup.
Forget about the sea of marketing buzzwords. Gamify this, gamify that. We just simply want to help you go from “just another startup” to a high-growth business and powerful brand name.
By the time you’re done reading this, you should have a solid understanding of what effective marketing for early-stage companies is, the art and science behind it, and be ready to launch the company of your dreams.
Let’s get to it!
1. Marketing basics for startups
- What is marketing today? Watch Seth Godin break it down in four minutes.
- Getting the word out with over 40 different types of marketing that you may not have even heard of
- How startup marketing is a different kind of science from Neil Patel
- Why you should put marketing first, even when so many others overlook it
- One size doesn’t fit all: startups vs. enterprises
- What’s the fuss about growth marketing?
- A crash course on digital marketing lingo and 4 key marketing terms every startup entrepreneur should know from the folks at Startup Grind.
- Beware of these rules, especially when marketing in Canada
2. Building a brand from scratch
- What is a brand, anyway? Allie Decker from Hubspot gives you the inside scoop.
- 11 steps to get your brand strategy to lift-off
- How to create marketing personas. Hootsuite demonstrates how to define your target customer and includes a free template.
- Next-level branding to get you inspired
- Top branding mistakes to avoid as a startup
- Why you need a brand style guide and 15 superior examples
3. All about that product/market fit
- The only thing that matters for a startup. Founder of Qulture.Rocks Francisco H. de Mello breaks down everything you need to know about product/market fit and why you’re probably confused by it.
- How to snag product/market fit fast and furiously. Mari Luukkainen from venture capital firm Icebreaker.vc shares her wisdom.
- Understanding the #1 reason why startups fail. CB Insights compiles a list of the top 20 culprits.
- TAM, SAM, SOM...What now?
- Setting the record straight around the most damaging startup myths
4. Everything there is to know about data-driven marketing
- First off, what is it? And why should you be collecting data from day one?
- Navigating the social media jungle by measuring what works. Revive Social identifies how to build a data-driven marketing campaign.
- Metrics to pay attention to: ROI explained by Jonathan Cronstedt, President of Kajabi, and marketing attribution.
- How the pandemic has changed advertising. Dr. David Wyld explores accelerated trends in the global ad industry.
- A data-driven look at how Spotify made data analytics cool in their marketing campaigns
- Telling interesting stories through data: how GrubHub compared the eating habits of Republicans vs. Democrats.
- Where doesn’t data come from? The future of data-driven marketing.
5. Target audiences, personas, and segments
- The relationship between target audiences and buyer personas
- 4 steps to creating marketing personas. Buffer outlines an actionable guide with free templates.
- Divvying up the customer pie with market segmentation
- Why you shouldn’t skip over psychographics in your marketing
- Questions to evaluate your target market and what to do when you haven’t figured it out yet. Batuhan Apaydin shares his insights from The Startup.
6. Developing key messaging
- Winning over your target customers with key messaging
- A framework on piquing interest and communicating who you are. Dana Oshiro from accelerator Heavybit walks you through the ins and outs of messaging.
- How to write a strong value proposition, and better yet, one that resonates
- How to nail product positioning
- Why most startups don’t get press. Brew PR Founder Brooke Hammerling reveals the challenges of early-stage companies navigating the media field on their own.
7. Go-to-market (GTM) strategies done right
- Steps you can’t ignore in a GTM strategy. Vendasta reveals its secrets.
- Mapping your competitive position. Buffer outlines how to perform the best-in-class competitor analysis, and throws in a free template.
- Running the numbers on product pricing
- Bringing your product to the people. Geoffrey Keating from Big Commerce dishes the best customer acquisition strategies according to executives at Intercom, Slack, and Andreessen Horowitz.
- How to align your launch with the news cycle. PR firm Red Fan spells out a timeline for your GTM strategy.
- KPIs you should use to evaluate your product launch success
8. Famous startup case studies
- Shopify: the snowboard shop that blew up into a $10B commerce ecosystem
- How Airbnb took over the world
- Uber’s ride to the top
- How Duolingo built a $700 million business and became the #1 education app
- From PayPal to Dropbox, here’s 5 growth strategy case studies and key takeaways
9. Growth hacking
- A beginner’s guide to fast-tracking your startup
- Hacks you should add to your growth plan sooner rather than later
- Why referral marketing is the talk of the town
- Dollar Shave Club’s Our Blades Are F***ing Great commercial that went viral and led to a $1 billion exit
- Supreme, the brand partnership that created an instant cult-like following
- An aggressive content marketing strategy attracts customer feedback
10. Trends to watch
- Hyper-personalization: the key to your customers’ hearts
- OK, Google. Optimizing voice search to reach a wider audience.
- How video marketing is the single most important content strategy
- People trust other people: how influencer marketing still has it in the bag
- The power of user-generated content (UGC)
- Be good, do good—brand activism, the content that makes a difference.
- Livestream shopping and the future of social commerce
Now that you have all the essential tools up your sleeves to market your business and product to your target audience, it’s time to put it to the test.
Sharpen your marketing game with powerful campaigns and messages as you work on creating the next great thing. Remember, the best marketing combines the art of storytelling with the science of performance data.
Strike a balance between both and you’ll be well on your way to getting the right attention and disrupting your market for the better.